The WELS 2009 Synod Convention is now over. I was pleased that the budget and finance committee did manage to find a way to make the necessary $1 million cut out of the budget in a way that didn’t involve closing MLS or recalling world missionaries, as was the original plan. (Although, this $1 million was part of an overall budget cut of $8 million. Part of the other $7 million already involved world missionaries being brought back to the States. But obtaining the final $1 million in cuts from a source other than MLS or world missionaries was a blessing.)
For those of you who would be interested in more information about Synod Convention, as well as links to video and PDF files of the major presentations at the Conference (which were all fabulous and doctrinally sound and made me grateful to be WELS!), check out this post. I don’t know who the author of the blog is, although I strongly suspect that the name he goes by is an alias. Somehow, I doubt we have a lot of “Finkelsteins” here in the WELS. 😉
I had some bad experiences in my home WELS church during my formative teenage years. I was ready to go somewhere, anywhere that wasn’t WELS. But then God had me meet and fall in love with my husband, who was studying to become a WELS pastor! When I moaned about how awful the WELS was, my then-boyfriend was in disbelief, as he had never come across such awful stories as I had related. His experience with the WELS had always been wonderful, and I was equally in disbelief that the WELS could actually be good!
But then, as we continued to date and became more and more a part of each other’s lives, he realized that I wasn’t exaggerating: my home church WAS awful. I also realized that he wasn’t looking at the world through rose-colored glasses: his home church WAS pretty good. Plus, it was amazing to realize that my boyfriend wasn’t merely being indoctrinated at Sem, but was instead being taught sound theology.
My former home church is now, sadly, one of the leaders of the CGM (church growth movement) in the WELS, which explains a lot that happened to me in my past. So, it was validating to hear the presenters at the recent Synod convention (Pres. Mark Schroeder, Prof. Brenner, and Rev. Jonathan Schroeder) unanimously condemn all that the CGM involves. Plus, the delegates at the Convention recommended forming an ad hoc committee to study address Doctrine and Practice in our church, as a response to a growth in disunity in Doctrine and Practice in WELS churches. Plus, this study will be done by the Seminary – yay!
I’m so incredibly grateful to still be here in the WELS. I’m grateful that God had my life intersect with my husband’s at the time when it did, and I’m grateful that God joined us together in marriage. The WELS isn’t perfect, and there most certainly are Christians headed for heaven outside of the WELS, but it’s such a blessing to be part of a church body that strives so hard to maintain sound doctrine and practice. By nature, I’m pretty lazy and apathetic about my spiritual health, so I’m thankful to be in a place in my life where I’m surrounded with solid Christianity, even when I’m lazy and apathetic about my faith.
God is good, and he’s worthy to be praised!
(Any WLC choir alumni out there who remember that song, “Worthy to be Praised”? :))